An exceedingly thorough guide to birds and bird watching. Pasquier, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, has garnered an enormous amount of information--general rules, notable exceptions, intriguing speculations--and presented them in an accessible, undemanding style. He looks at evolution and speciation, distinguishes between inherited and learned behavior, discusses the features of feathers (structure, coloration, maintenance), and introduces some anatomical anomalies such as the relationship between a chicken's white meat and its limited flying ability. Voice differences, courtship patterns, breeding cycles, and global distribution are also included, and the most recent theories and experiments involving migration--many highly imaginative--are examined. Ornithologists have often spearheaded the most militant conservationist protests; Pasquier does not overlook these efforts, or the extinct and endangered species they've tried to protect. Tightly organized with no flights of fancy--a studious complement to those well-thumbed field guides of Zim and Peterson.